Do your employees find value in your performance review process? A recent study of employees, HR managers and CEOs discovered that 98% find annual performance reviews unnecessary. Take a look at your process and see where you can add value. Here are six simple improvements that can make a big difference.
Treat it as a PROCESS, not an event
Managers should lay the groundwork for reviews all year long. Regularly review goals and ensure employees are set up to succeed. It’s not simply asking how it’s going. Dive deeper. Ask specific questions: Do you have the tools you need to meet your goals? What successes have you had? How can I help you with your goals? – Listen, take notes and follow up. Without follow up, asking the right questions becomes a waste of time for both the employee and the manager.
Provide continuous feedback
One of the top complaints about the review process is “surprises.” Employees had no idea their manager had a particular concern brought up during appraisals. The best way to manage performance is with regular and informal feedback throughout the year. Quarterly and annual reviews simply formalize the feedback given and progress to date. No SURPRISES!
Make review criteria objective
Another major criticism of performance reviews is that they are subjective, and review the “person,” not the “performance.” Focus on hard numbers. Measurable criteria include sales numbers, customer satisfaction rankings or quantity of output.
Solicit feedback from all parties
Many companies implement 360 reviews, gathering feedback on managers, peers, and direct reports. Even if no formal process exists, managers should informally reach out to others who work with the employee.
Track performance all year long
If you only visit the performance process once a year, it’s likely it will be skewed toward the last three months. Utilize performance management software to track successes and progress throughout the year. It provides a more accurate picture of overall performance and encourages managers to pay attention all year long.
Have a conversation, not a confrontation
The words appraisal or review automatically conjure up thoughts of criticism. Managers should engage employees in a two-way discussion. Begin the process by asking for self-assessment, continue by seeking ideas for improvement and suggestions on how to reach the goals you’ve set together.